SLO REP’s production of Mark Brown’s adaption of “Around the World in 80 Days” doesn’t take as long as the title suggests to go ’round the world, but it does deliver the hustle and bustle and action and adventure that makes this race against time an audience-pleasing romp.
Six remarkable actors play six strong characters in SLO Rep’s current production of “Steel Magnolias,” the 1987 play by Robert Harling that was reworked into a 1989 film starring six big-box-office names (re-made in 2012 with another six big-box-office names, if you’re interested). Save yourself the streaming fees, though . . .
So . . . if the initial performance of SLO Rep’s current homage to the 1980s is any indication, the theatre has a hit on its hands with its production of film-turned-Broadway-phenomenon “Xanadu.”
So . . . first there are the sounds. The wailing of sirens, the swell of the sea, the chiming of a ship’s bell (or is it a church bell, perhaps?). Surely these are the sounds of despair, or loneliness, or sorrow. But then comes the sound of the first words uttered in the latest SLO REP production—a profound but relatively commonplace query: “How are the children?”
Whether the lovers in “The Fantasticks” end up with a happy ending isn’t really the point; by show’s end you’ve gotten the message that “without the hurt the heart is hollow.”